Issues with current software:
The software we were using in late 2019 didn’t allow us to create and manufacture the way we needed.
Our Workshop Manager knew Peter Rogers from Autodesk and contacted him to ask his advice.
Fusion 360 with Netfabb® software offers a complete toolset for design and implementation for additive manufacturing. It streamlines workflows and automates processes around 3D print preparation. The software also includes access to Fusion 360, Fusion 360 Team and additional capabilities through Fusion 360 Additive Extensions.
The first thing we had to do was compare software options and then set up parameters in order to provide feedback to Peter.
Issues were resolved in a timely manner and Phil received the support he needed. It was important for us to find software that was compatible with our business as a service bureau.
“Our aim is to enable our clients to send different file types ; allowing them the flexibility to use the software they have.”
During 2020 and leading up to the Netfabb software launch, Peter and his team connected with Phil via Zoom meetings. Issues were discussed and the interlink between Fusion 360 and Netfabb.
This allowed Autodesk to see what our challenges were and how we needed the software to work for many different types of parts from a variety of industry sectors.
We are still in the process of refining features as this improves workflow, and we have a great relationship with Autodesk. Through monthly roundtables, we get to learn more about how to use existing features and provide accurate input. This helps the Autodesk team to make the right tools to tackle the wide range of complex challenges we face working with a large variety of customers.
This process and where we are at today has greatly enhanced our client service and finished product results. It has allowed us to continuously build upon both our knowledge in an industry that is still very much developing, and work alongside companies that want to collaborate. A solution where everyone benefits all round!
We asked Peter Rogers, Autodesk, a number of questions
Q. What was the initial communication about and did you have contact with Phil previously?
A. I’d been in contact with Warwick Downing (RAM3D CEO) several times and he suggested that I chat with Phil to find out exactly what was required. The first conversation was around how busy he was and how we could work together to help him reduce some tedious manual work and give him a few more hours back per week.
This was of course well received, and after going through his existing workflows, we quickly found some automated workflows that would help him overhaul several steps he had with his existing solution.
Q. How was the issue approached?
A. Even though we provide consistent software to all of our customers, every single company we work with has different processes and procedures. The first step for us was to understand how and why things are done at RAM3D. From there we developed a structured process that could be automated and improved. Phil’s thorough knowledge of all the steps in their workflow made working with him extremely easy. His desire to implement new methods incredibly quickly helped us to iterate the development process because the feedback is almost faster than we could develop. This communication loop is the real key to our joint success.
Q. How was this situation different from others you may have had before?
A. Phil’s desire to test things out as soon as they were ready to go, really speed things up.
He would give us feedback on a Monday, and we would have a solution in a developer build for him by Wednesday. Parts using these updates would already be in the machine on Thursday.
This kind of turnaround is unprecedented and helps both of us achieve things we didn’t believe would be possible.
Q. Which software package/s were involved?
A. Phil has been actively using the Netfabb and Fusion360 products.
Q. Was the process smooth or were there a few hurdles?
A. Time zones were a slight challenge, bringing NZ and our German developers together, but we made it work.
Q. How has this affected your development?
A. RAM3D have a constantly developing customer base and with each new project, new challenges arise. By working directly with the team and getting feedback on how we can overcome the challenges, it not only helped with existing projects but can be implemented in new projects as well. It is not limited to one issue but is a constantly evolving relationship.
Q. What was the outcome and your thoughts about how RAM3D work? How has this outcome and relationship benefited both parties?
A. It is well known that RAM3D are incredibly knowledgeable with the additive manufacturing process, and their team is very experienced in design and post processing. This well-rounded breadth of capability helped us to discuss broader uses of certain existing capabilities.
The ease of collaboration is incredibly attractive for our teams to work with, as it feeds into a deeper, win-win relationship. Our teams are getting deeper insights into challenges we can build solutions for, and Phil has been empowered with the best and most up-to-date solutions on the market.